Albany High junior wins state science prize
ALBANY, N.Y. (March
27, 2018) – Albany
High School junior Othman Othman’s research took the top prize at a
statewide science and technology conference on Sunday and may help
police labs better analyze the chemical makeup of drugs they seize.
poster won first place at the 20th annual STEP Statewide
Student Conference, which ran Friday through Sunday in Colonie and
hosted some 450 students from throughout New York.
STEP is the Science
and Technology Entry Program, a statewide initiative made up of colleges
and universities. STEP provides middle- and high-school students
throughout the state with practical experience in science, technology
and health-related fields.
in STEP at the University at Albany, where he ran his experiments in the
high-tech chemistry labs there.
Working with a
forensic scientist mentor from the New York State Police, Othman studied
two ways of detecting pseudoephedrine -- which is similar in its chemical
makeup to methamphetamine -- in a drug substance.
He hypothesized that
a basic extraction technique that uses a high concentration of sodium
hydroxide would detect the drug more effectively than a methanol
“As a forensic
scientist, my job is to analyze the drug found and see if it contains a
legal or illegal drug,” he said.
His research did just
that and proved his hypothesis sound. That means law enforcement
has a better way to determine the presence of methamphetamines in drugs
Othman plans to
continue to collect data on the pseudoephedrine project. He intends to
continue studying in college, as well.
“I want to become a
doctor – a surgeon. That’s my goal,” he said.
Othman hopes to attend the Siena-Albany Medical
College Program, taking the same path as his sister Assalah (Albany High
Class of 2017), who started the pre-med program in September.
Congrats to Othman on his efforts!
The mission of
the City School District of Albany is
to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every
learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the
knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district
around 9,600 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In
addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet
schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities
for students, including four themed academies
at Albany High School.